Is it okay for Christians to practice mindfulness? Is it okay for Christian to meditate? These questions must be asked every day and since you landed on the website there's a good chance you're looking for the answer.
What is mindfulness?
In simple terms, mindfulness is a meditative technique that involves quieting the mind and becoming aware of our body and environment. The practice allows a person to just "be" in the present moment without the cascading rush of thoughts. Developing a mindfulness routine is easy and should generally begin with small goals, like 5 or 10 minutes which can gradually be increased to 20 or 30 minutes. The benefit is presence of mind. The hurried mind of our contemporary counterparts has led to a myriad of stress related illnesses most wish to nullify permanently.
Quick caveat: mindfulness evolved from Eastern spirituality, so as one explores it's root and advanced practice one encounters spiritual undertones which may not be completely consistent with Christianity.
Should Christian practice mindfulness meditation?
The simple answer is, yes! But, it should be practiced in agreement with the content of the Bible. Romans 12:2, Philippians 4:8, 2 Timothy 1:7, Proverbs 28:26, Ephesians 4:22-32, and many more verses recommend we relinquish worldly thought and develop our mind in the ways of God.
Additionally, meditation is referred in the Bible, here's a list of just seventeen verse about meditation: (there's many more)
Joshua 1:8 - This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
Psalms 1:2 - But his delight [is] in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
Psalms 19:14 - Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
Psalms 119:15 - I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.
Psalms 104:34 - My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD.
Philippians 4:8 - Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.
Proverbs 4:20-22 - My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.
Psalms 119:97 - O how love I thy law! it [is] my meditation all the day.
Psalms 49:3 - My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart [shall be] of understanding.
Isaiah 26:3 - Thou wilt keep [him] in perfect peace, [whose] mind [is] stayed [on thee]: because he trusteth in thee.
Matthew 6:6 - But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
Psalms 119:127 - Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.
Psalms 1:1-6 - Blessed [is] the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
Psalms 119:48 - My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes.
Psalms 119:11 - Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
Psalms 63:6 - When I remember thee upon my bed, [and] meditate on thee in the [night] watches.
Psalms 119:1-127 - Blessed [are] the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
So the practice of mindfulness for is different for the Christian that it is for everyone else. For us it is the practice of letting go of the carnal mind, being at peace with God in the present moment (Matthew 6:34, then mindfully cultivating God's word within us. (Romans 12:2, John 14:23)
Mindfulness defined by Jesus
According to psychologists “Mindfulness” is the quality and ability to be (1) present in the moment and (2) consciously able to choose the best response out of a number of emotional possibilities.
Mindfulness is the opposite of being out of control, and best defined as a mental and emotional state that allows the most thoughtful response from us in any given situation. It is not reactive, rather it is thoughtful action.
Sounds wonderful doesn't it. So what would Jesus say about this. Here's His reply.
"Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him." John 14:23
In other words, all carnal thought, word, and deed must vanish while our being becomes fully established in God's growing presence. The prerequisite for this blissful existence with God is that we must "keep" His word. Another way of explaining this concept is that we must be mindful of the cultivated Word within us, a state of mind best obtained by hours of daily scriptural meditation.
Notice also that Jesus connects this type of devotional activity as a demonstration of our love for Him.
Should Christians practice mindfulness meditation? Yes and no. Christians should practice quieting the mind from all carnal thought so they can offer a pure sacrifice unto to God. A heart, soul, and mind wholly devoted unto God is a gift God can use and it begins with the mindfulness of God's word within us which begins with the meditation of His word.
Then we will be mindfully aware of God's increased presence and perform (think, act, and speak) according to his will in real time. God bless you. We love you. We're praying for you.
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